Frequently Asked Questions FAQ 01

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SHADES OF BAD FAQ 01
Your Frequently asked questions answered – number 1
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Q. Why three minute episodes?

A. We are members of the British Screen Advisory Council and much discussion has been placed on the web. At the AGM we had many media analysts address us from the likes of Price Waterhouse. It appears under 8 minutes and nearer to 5 minutes works on all platforms including phones, but many YouTube videos are about 3 to 5 minutes, so that is where we aimed. We considered that using follow-on annotations the viewer could then watch any length they wanted once there was a body of work up there. We decided not to market the show until at least 20 episodes were up.

Q. Why are the titles so long?

A. In season one they are 30 seconds, they were to give away clues allow a chance to settle. We considered people can always use the follow on button to avoid them, most viewers can use a slider as the length was constant, but more importantly, we wanted to look like a proper broadcast TV show. We think they work. However, season 2 titles are reduced to 17 minutes. And the episode lengths are creeping up. I think episode 40 is our longest at 6 minutes plus titles.

Q. Is it all set in a kitchen?

A. Great question. Yes, certainly for about 37 episodes. Even when I wrote scenes into other areas Buster avoid them. It was a challenge at first to see if one could keep it interesting and stay in the kitchen. But I did ask myself, am I just doing this to prove I can, and if so that is wrong, and how long do you have to do it in order to prove it can stay in the kitch. The first 39 episodes are more than the length of a movie and it all works. Season 3 we travel, not just outside but to Norway.

Q. We noticed you (Stuart St Paul) have not directed any, do you miss it? Will you direct any?

A. No I don’t miss it. No I have no plans to direct any but I have directed the foreign shoots in Norway and Barcelona. I have enjoyed seeing some of my old writings used and worked into this new media, and I am fascinated by where viewing habits are going. To be honest, I think it is best as a new director training ground and I have no idea how long Buster will stay, but he seems to be enjoying it and the girls like him.

Q. How many people are actually in the crew, there are few titles?

A. Few. It is a training ground, it is a kitchen, it is small. I started with two and it worked well. We expanded to three and it was our worst day. Three is a crowd. It then goes to one man DiT and Editor, who also track lays the sound. It then goes to Mark Blackledge who designs the sound and adds the music. It goes back to Buster who approves it and uploads it, I do not see it until it is live on air. So, one on set, one edit, one sound. Total three crew. Cast act as if in the theatre and do their own costume, props and makeup.

Q. Do you get errors with so few crew?

A. I have worked with huge crews, huge and we get errors. Here, we get few because they all look out for each other. We have had two errors I can think of. One the camera was at the wrong frame rate and we had to transpose that episode. And the common fault is not to connect the camera to the Tascam sound recorder so sound has to then be sunk up manually. But to be honest that does not happen often.

Q. Does everyone market the show?

A. LOL! NO !!!!! To be honest some don’t use the computer much, and one did not even have a Facebook account. Twitter and all those platforms are just strange areas for them and they need help. We need more help and marketing is something we need to attend to, but I firmly believe we need a body of work up there and 20 episodes is not a body of work worth spending time and money on. Now we have a book, Kindle and a stage play for three women all published, and the audiobook as the next experiment as we start to film Season 3, I consider we are still learning. The body of work will be there in 2016, we will be better by then, and this is timeless TV. It does not matter when you join. Our efforts to date are to find where our audience might be hiding.

Q. How do you market a web series?

A. Ask Netflix. They are the masters and market leaders, ask Amazon. I think the future will be with labels like Maker Studios, Buzz My Videos but it is one thing us as film makers knowing this exists, we need the public to find Daily Motion, to find web series. Until then, there is no real way to advertise one web series on one channel. We have expansion plans, we will use book marketing for the book which, has a route, we will use play marketing for the stage play, but we need more product to be a TV channel. I have worked for TV channels all my life, I have a plan, it is long term, maybe three years, and it is product lead.

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